In The Present Eternity, I alluded to a helpful conversation I recently had with my RD. In this conversation, my RD was explaining to me how important it is for me to find my core. She used the analogy of Olympic gymnasts using the balance beam. She explained that these gymnasts don’t just walk upon the beam, but do tricks and flips and a whole bunch of other crazy shenanigans upon it. The key is to balance on the beam (thus the name). My RD explained that they are able to balance because they have a strong core or a center piece in which they are able to remain stable. She said that our lives are similar in that manner in which there needs to be a core to us that keeps us stable.
I was explaining to my RD that I have lately been focusing a lot of my theological attention towards more communal contexts (specifically how God is interacting in the lives of oppressed peoples). I have, for a while, forsaken the idea of how God has been interacting in my own life. I have been hesitant of that idea because of my past experience with that type of theology. When I used to believe that God was interacting in my personal life, my beliefs were much more ethnocentrically concentrated. I was ignorant to any issues regarding social inequality and was also less aware to how others around me were doing. I was more concerned about what God was doing for me, how I could utilize God’s power in my life and how much the people around me needed to believe in the God that I believed in. Today, I have found myself more concerned about God interacting in the life of other individuals who are experiencing hell on a daily basis. At the same time, I have completely discredited the possibility that God could be intervening in my life on a more personal basis. My RD explained that that is not wrong at all for me to be giving greater attention towards social justice issues. There are times in our lives in which we need make some things a greater priority over others. An example is when there is a death in the family. Those individuals who are part of the family will, many times, drop everything just to take care of each other and console one another. In this point in my life, with the recent exposure to information that I have had, I have given much personal attention to social awareness (say this as an explanation of my reality as my intention is not to portray myself as some noble individual) and less attention to my personal matters.
As I have been experiencing this grand process, I have not been exploring the idea of what my core is. I told my RD that I think my core is God. I then said to her that I am unsure of that statement because I am very unsure of who God is and because of that ambiguity, I don’t know if I can make God my core. My RD simply said, ‘why do you need to know who God is to have God as your core?’ She alluded to many situations in the Bible in which individuals asked God what they should call God. And God responded by saying, “I Am who I Am.” There is a tendency in Christianity (for I cannot speak to other religions) to define who God is. This includes knowing what to call God (i.e. Father, Him), knowing how God operates (expecting God to show up with Their power in a certain moment) and knowing what God expects in terms of how us humans should act (i.e. sexual ethics). There may be some truths to these ‘knowing’s’ as it could allow love and serenity to be fostered in a context. I mean, why not? At the same time, I think God can also be other things. I desire for God to transcend absolutism. God says to us, ‘stop trying to define Me, I Am who I Am.’ God looks at our three dimensional space and laughs. Is it possible that God can interact in my individual life… yes. Is it possible for God to be transforming this world and its institutionally oppressive nature… absolutely! Is it also possible for God to be operating in other manners that we can’t possible imagine… of course!
I think I can place God and the divine at my core without knowing everything and anything about this being. The beauty is in the pursuit of the divine. I desire to roam. Thus, I will roam and search with God at my core, being on the lookout for new ways in which the divine is revealed to me. Something that I value very much in my faith life is a God that allows me to doubt to as far as I can go. In doubt, one is able to find that there are things they were taught (i.e. from growing up in the church) about God that carries no life to it, it is like dead skin waiting to be ripped off. Doubt gives you the strength to rip off that skin, no matter how much it hurts, which only allows new, fresh, beautiful skin to grow. I would just encourage those who are doubting to go full speed ahead. It’s a seemingly terrifying place to be in. But, what comes after that is so majestic and exciting.